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Pretty Amazing

  • Oct 12, 2009
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When it comes to the Halo games, there are always those who really love them and those who really hate them.  The people who really love Halo are quite passionate about it.  Those who hate Halo seem to only hate it for one reason: It's incredibly popular.  And yes, sometimes we can rightfully be skeptical of something being popular, but Halo haters seem to use the games popularity as an excuse not to think.  If it sold 500,000 copies instead of 5,000,000 you'd have people bitching that no one played it.  So let's forego the idea of trying to please people and just talk about the game.  If you're not a Halo fan you're not going to like Halo 3 ODST.  Period.  But when I review a game, I'm all about the quality of the game more so than my own personal feelings all the time.  I'm not the biggest Halo fan, but I do enjoy the games.  ODST is something a little different from the typical Halo experience.  Things here are a bit more subtle here.  That's not to say there's nothing epic about it, only to say that while it's definitely Halo, it sets a different tone.

You're a Rookie, and along with other ODST soldiers youv'e been dropped into Mombasa.  Unfortunately the drop doesn't go as planned as your character is knocked unconcious.  When you awake it's dark, the city is crawling with enemies, and you've been separated from your squad.  You'll have to find them by exploring the city as well as looking for your objective.  As you explore the city in the night, it feels like a mystery of sorts.  Mostly just piecing together what happened to your allies.  From time to time you'll come across artifacts that give you hints.  When you do, you'll have to play through a flashback of that particular squad member.  The story is a little non-linear in this regard as there's no definite order for you to find these artifacts in.  It can seem a little slow from tme to time, mostly because going from one artifact to another doesn't have the epic Halo feel.  The city is quiet and crawling with enemies but it's not a constant fire fight. 

In some of the flashback sequences you have to play through, however, you get the same old Halo feel like you always did.  There's chaos all over, different vehicles for you to man and everything.  Despite these epic moments, one of the most important things to realize is that it isn't your typical Halo.  In the original three Halo games there was nothing wrong with diving into the battle without a thought or care in the world.  You were a Spartan.  Master Chief.  In ODST that's a little different.  You're a human being and the game makes sure you know it.  Before you had recharging energy.  You could face a horde of enemies and be perfectly fine.  Here you have to keep an eye on two things.  Your stamina and your health.  As you get into firefights first your stamina depletes, and then your health.  While you're stamina recharges, your health doesn't.  This ensures that you take things a little more strategically, including utilizing cover fire when you need to, and ducking out of a fire fight when things get hairy.  ODST can be a little challenging at first, but it doesn't take too much time to learn the basics.  It just might take some hardcore Halo veterans a moment to realize... they're not a super soldier.  And some just aren't going to like that aspect anyway. 

If there was any real complaint about ODST, it would be that the main campaign just isn't that long.  You get all those multiplayer maps thrown in from Halo 3 as well.  You can also go at it with a friend and the like, but the point is, the campaign itself isn't very long.  It's a good thing some of these other things are thrown in.  Otherwise there might not be much cause to buy ODST.  Nevertheless if you're a Halo fan it's still worth picking up because it's got a good story.  Nearly everything about the production values of ODST is top notch.  The voice acting is incredible--especially from those of your squad.  The city you explore and the battles you undertake have a majestic tone to them that makes them an awe to the senses  The music is also stellar.  Not only that but the squad members you meet all have great, distinct personalities and they're fun.  There are comical moments and heartwarming moments.  For the most part, the game is very well written and very well constructed. 

There's not much which really keeps ODST down.  The short campaign, perhaps, but there's replay value.  Most of the flashback sequences are a little on the short side as well.  But when you've got a short game that's to be expected.  As a result, $60 may seem a bit much to be asking for right off.  If you're a Halo fan, however, you probably already own the game to begin with.

So you may not be master chief, but you are entering a very thoughtful world with some very interesting characters, and a great story.  For big fans of the original three Halo's, it's hard to say whether or not ODST really is for them.  It's definitely Halo but it's different enough that it is a different game.  Without Master Chief some may not be too thrilled and others may be bothered by the more cautious attempt to combat and the slow pacing between the flashback missions (the city is crawling with enemies but fire fights are few and far between).  In short, it's not your typical Halo game.  Those who enjoyed the fast-paced intensity of the first one will have to learn how to take it in small sips.  The game is much more dramatic than the others.  On the other hand, as a result others may find ODST to be Halo's greatest outing because it's focus is much more subtle.

Either way, you're sure to have fun with it, and enjoy it.

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October 13, 2009
Haven't really gotten into the HALO thing but I have started playing some games again such as DEADSPACE which is just awesome! nice review! You and Trashie definitely agree on this one...
October 13, 2009
I actually think I have a Deadspace I review I wrote not too long ago. I really love that game! It's absolutely creepy and has a great atmosphere.
October 16, 2009
where is it? is it in this site? I want to take a peek but I would avoid spoilers until I am real close to finishing it..
October 16, 2009
You can find it here.  There shouldn't be any spoilers.  It might talk a bit about the story but I don't go so far as to blow the whole thing out.  There's a lot to Dead Space, but the review was originally written before I finished it, so there shouldn't be major spoilers.
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About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this video game


Developed exclusively for Xbox 360 by acclaimed developer Bungie, Halo 3: ODST is a new, stand-alone expansion to the Halo saga that lets players experience the events leading up to the epic story told in Halo 3 through the eyes of an entirely new character the ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper), as they search for clues leading to the whereabouts of their scattered squad and the motivations behind the Covenant's invasion of New Mombasa. The game adds a new dimension to an all-encompassing universe that gamers around the world have known and loved since the release of the first Halo game in late 2001.


'Halo 3: ODST' game logo
ODST rookie battling a Covenant enemy in 'Halo 3: ODST'
New hero, old enemy.
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ODST rookie in full gear from 'Halo 3: ODST'
Join the ODST.
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Cinematic cutscreen from 'Halo 3: ODST'
Stunning cinematics.
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Firefight multiplayer mode from first-person perspective in 'Halo 3: ODST'
New co-op multiplayer mode.
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New Campaign, New Hero, New Tactics
Much more than an expansion, Halo 3: ODST allows players to explore dangerous new ground, search the dark, abandoned streets of New Mombasa for clues, and fight back against the Covenant invasion from multiple perspectives. Dropping in as "the rookie," a new member of an elite squad of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST) sent into New Mombasa on a classified recon mission, you'll be armed with specialized weaponry and upgraded technology, including silenced weapons and a VISR enhanced vision mode.


Separated from your squad, you'll have to scour the city for clues in order to learn what happened to Buck, ...

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Number of Players: 1-4 Players (up to 16 on the Halo 3 multiplayer disk included)
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Bungie Software
Console: Xbox 360
Genre: Shooter
Release Date: September 22, 2009 (NA)
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